This blog series is all about how you can use 6 simple ingredients to take your marketing strategies from boring to remarkable.
In our last article, we talked about how you can use the dangerous power of Taboo to generate word-of-mouth or go viral. (If you missed it, check it out here.)
Now, let’s explore a different tactic: the Unusual.
Cue Twilight Zone music.
It’s not hard to understand what makes something unusual. These are the things that don’t fit in. They’re so strange and out-of-place, you just have to stare.
What is hard about using “the unusual” in your marketing strategy is coming up with something weird enough to attract attention and spur word-of-mouth.
This tactic can be especially difficult on the internet, the award-winner for Home of the Weirdest Things You Could Ever Think of. But remember, we’re not trying to just be weird for the sake of being weird. We want to be unusual, in a way that people can’t forget.
What’s the difference between being a weirdo and being unusual? That word, “usual.” You have to break into someone’s “usual” day and make it remarkable.
That’s why this strategy is especially effective with guerrilla marketing, where you enter the real world in an unusual way. Guerrilla marketing uses the element of surprise and unconventional interactions to attract attention and publicity. By its very nature, guerrilla marketing only works if it is unusual.
But you don’t have to build massive displays in the city streets or form a flash mob to be unusual. Sometimes, it’s as simple as rethinking your promotional materials…
Before the 2018 Inbound Conference, the UviaUs team was trying to think of a handout that fit our criteria, but would also get people talking. It felt like everything had been done to death.
Until two of our teammates mentioned “tiny hands.” They’d been using them for comedy videos on instagram, but we knew we could combine story, humor, and novelty to make a big splash at the conference.
Conference “swag” is a great place to practice the unusual in your B2B marketing. People are so used to getting socks, t-shirts, and mugs with the company's logo on it… and then they just throw all that stuff away. It doesn’t make an impression or really differentiate you from everyone else.
So we took these pieces of molded rubber, created action-figure style packaging and messaging for them, and headed off for the conference.
At the show, the tiny hands were a hit. People wanted to talk to us to figure out what the heck we were doing. Others came by the booth after hearing about the tiny hands. We even got some swag out of it when one of the other vendor companies traded their stainless steel insulated wine tumblers for our tiny hands!
The tiny hands made more than just a temporary impression. Months later, one of our designers was in a meeting with a prospective client, when the client suddenly reached to their desk and held up… their UviaUs tiny hand! Still in the original packaging.
In any marketing area, consider what is “usual” for your industry. For B2B marketing, you might consider, what’s normal for a trade show or virtual event? How do people usually set up their tables or presentations? What are the usual avenues for client outreach?
After listing all the ways people usually market, let your imagination run wild on ways you can shake up what’s usually expected.
Here are some ways to generate unusual ideas: Take what’s normal, and do the opposite. Then do something completely different (Monty Python’s Flying Circus is a great source of unusual endings, though we don’t recommend you use explosives).
Be so unusual people can’t look away.